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performance upgrades, Penske Shocks, Penske Shocks Rx8

12 Min Read

Street Performance Rx8 Upgrades

RX8 Track day street performance | 2009 Mazda RX8

RX8 Lowered, corner balanced and track ready

RX8 Lowered, corner balanced and track ready

RX8 Track day street performance | 2009 Mazda RX8 with Penske shocks / AIM motorsports upgrades.

This is a special car. Everyone who enjoys that process of personalizing their performance car will appreciate the detail and effort put into this car.

This customer came to me wanting to build a performance car with the utility to pick up his kids on a regular basis. The RX8 chassis is one of the best out there with a reasonable cost and lots of potential.

First, most people want a ported motor with a lot more power. As one with many years with low horsepower racing cars (less than 350hp.) there is a lot to be said for a chassis and brake setup that works very well before you add more power.

Power is nothing without control. Anyone can spend money on straight line acceleration, it is fun, for some of us that is a short lived experience that begs for more.

This customer came to us 4 months ago with a plan. Build a performance car that delivers high performance track days with on daily utility for family duties.

We haven’t even gotten to the internals of the REnesis motor yet. Why? Because it isn’t time yet. Why spend money when the motor is still pulling strong and reliable. I recommended that we focus on the driving experience first. Let’s work with what we have, improve suspension, motor breathing (intake / exhaust) and data acquisition that enhances the benefits within the RX8.

We stared with the interior, A custom racing seat for lowering the driver and delivering a more connected feel. Solution: Sparco racing seat that puts driver 1.65” lower, taking into account the sight-line that is just right for performance driving (where the eyesight follows the hood slope and improves interior headroom.

Next up was the addition of the AIM motorsports dash. This is where quality fabrication comes into play. With GPS and rear camera on the roof and a custom bracket slightly above the center stack (perfect for sightline and doesn’t interfere with main dash and you can still see the radio station, temperatures, etc of the orange information screen).

Second, the intake and exhaust: After a full compression test and chassis inspection, upgrades to the air-box ( and their performance exhaust (cat back) for a slight increase in power, plus a much more appropriate sound. Remember, every car must still pass emissions that is to be driven on the street.

Third, I took my racing experience and called my contacts at Penske racing shocks for a street performance track day shock setup that will deliver and enhance the RX8 chassis. REsult is a car that is easy to drive fast, confident and not too harsh for daily duty.

This also includes custom brackets (front/rear) for the RX8. One issue that most never realize until it is too late is the OEM location is short and shocks need to compromise, thus will overheat quickly as the shock body isn’t large enough to dissipate the heat created with track day duty. Penske shocks and custom brackets allows a full length shock with increased oil capacity.

With the car lowered 1.7”, 16” wheels and performance tires, the stance is perfect. With correct corner balancing (with driver) complimenting the effort, this car is ready for street / track day use.

Penske shocks are world class, their tech department and engineering team is second to none. This matters for those who are serious about getting it right.

With the seating position correct, data on demand, shocks / springs upgrades, and a better breathing motor, it is the owners next adventure is to put some seat time in the car, learn more about driving & car control and of course spend a day at the track with us showcasing skills and learning how to go fast well. We test drove the car yesterday, it is spot on. Not too harsh, very responsive, forgiving and begs to be driven.

This winter we will build a new motor as more power will compliment the current effort. This is a drivers car, go fast, do it well.

lets get started | Rotary Engine Shop


Topics:   performance upgrades, Penske Shocks, Penske Shocks Rx8

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